Living with the Samsung Galaxy S5: a longer-term review
Design and Display
Pandora's box: The AMOLED display
Interface and functionality
Features overload: Gimmicks or actually useful?
The GS5's built-in IR blaster is a miracle in disguise -- this is the kind of useful features we want.
Performance: Awesome and disappointing at the same time
It's true: Battery life on the S5 is great
The Galaxy S5 is the Swiss knife of the flagship bunch: it's complex, but extremely versatileExecution, precisely, is what, in a way, feels like is holding the GS5 from being the perfect device. And I mean that in terms of thoroughness, as certain aspects definitely deserve applause. This stark contrast is so profound that one can't help but wonder what Samsung could deliver, were it to focus on fewer areas, and finally do some summer house cleaning. After all, more isn't necessarily better, though I imagine the average consumer is drawn to all the extra features, good or bad, like a moth to a flame. We have marketing to thank for that.
1. sgodsell (Posts: 878; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
Good review. Its what I tell everyone about the Galaxy SX phones. They are the Swiss Army Knife of smart phones. Also you forgot to mention that you can get the Galaxy S5 on the play store. But then again, I guess that's only in the states.
13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7317; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Once you go S5, it's hard to switch to another phone.
32. mokhtar (Posts: 196; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)
So u are retarded.. My friend switched from s5 to z2 :)
33. TheGenius (Posts: 242; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)
Well that makes your friend retarded.!
Or someone who doesn't uses his phone much.!
49. Diezparda (Posts: 199; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)
So you called someone retarded because of their choice? we got a badass over here...
43. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 675; Member since: 29 May 2014)
it should be... "once you go android, it's hard to switch to another platform"
51. sagemda (Posts: 24; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)
wtf is this, somekind of religion s**t? get over it no-lifers, i had androids and iOS's and been switching them like socks... people get what they want... don't call them retarded, down syndrome virgin..
55. AU-1999 (Posts: 10; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)
Buy the HTC One M8. It's the winner over them all kick-ass8000! All other phones are made of hell. Boom
25. hung2900 (Posts: 765; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
One popular paradox in GS5 that also appeared on this review: people know the cinema mode provides the most accurate color, they still choose the saturated mode. It is due to
- When get used to how colorful the display is, it is very hard to get back
- The whole UI, stock icons and stock wallpapers are designed for a saturated screen, sp on Cinema mode they looks terrible (dim, wash out,...)
In fact, the cinema mode is proved to be very similar to iPhone 5s screen in term of color (even white is better - nearer to 6500K and somebody said it's yellow, what a hilarious!)
2. ThePython (Posts: 207; Member since: 08 May 2013)
I really enjoyed this review. It's kind of an "After The Buzz" type of review, and it should be a standard for all significant smartphones PhoneArena reviews.
3. express77 (unregistered)
Wish it had better design and good looking UI.
54. jgalvez21 (Posts: 12; Member since: 29 May 2014)
can always be skinned... nova fix my only issue with touch wiz
59. mistertimi (Posts: 71; Member since: 28 May 2014)
Ugh hate when people say this. Tell me, does your launcher change Samsung's apps, like messaging, email, settings etc? No. They're still ugly touchwizz. Launchers change the homescreens and app drawer. Thing is, that's where users spend the least amount of time haha
61. Thullraven (Posts: 19; Member since: 14 Nov 2011)
mistertimi, if the email client bothers you, you can always use a different client or app. The same goes for messaging. As far as the Settings menu, on my S3 I installed and use custom fonts so my menus don't look anything like anyone else's. The beauty of Android
4. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2183; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
I kinda got that feeling that Chris really likes the S5.
7. CoastCity (Posts: 72; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)
Yes, too many S5 reviews already. Grab another phone now Chris
15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7317; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Getting that beast the day it comes out. That'll be my last phone for the year (Note 3, G2, S5, M8).
34. TheGenius (Posts: 242; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)
everyone who uses it does!
Yep..its brilliant just like that.
5. solidsnake695 (Posts: 27; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)
he forgot to mention how poor is the camera in low light
18. Razrman (Posts: 68; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
No he didn't, he covered that in his previous reviewhttp://www.phonearena.com/news
/Living-with-the-Samsung-Galaxy-S5-week-4-the-mighty-TouchWiz-camera_id57266This one is just his conclusion of a series of reviews.
6. GeorgeDao123 (Posts: 39; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)
Hardware is very good, but big TouchWiz slows down it a lot.
8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2597; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Brace yourselves! Samsung arena comments are coming.
9. Awalker (Posts: 163; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
I still don't know why Samsung is unwilling or unable to optimize Touchwiz better. That's one of the main reasons why I'm skipping the S5.
11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7317; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Had my S5. Never had a problem with it. It was problem free like my Note 3 was.
24. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 365; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
Thats what most of S5 owners will say, they would be ashamed to say that a 700$ phone has lag cause of touchwiz. I tested it on a local store and its super fast, but when you install apps and start using it for few weeks it slows down and thats just not acceptable.
26. KingDingaLing (Posts: 114; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
That's what everyone says about whatever phone they have. And curious...how did you manage to test it at the store, install apps and continue to test it for a few weeks? Did you keep going back to the same store and test the same phone? LOL O.o
40. donfem (Posts: 515; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
Brilliant response. Some spout rubbish out of hatred. Better they keep quiet than open their mouths and show folly.
29. Awalker (Posts: 163; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
In the write up he mentions the jitter, stuttering and lag. There's several reviewers who mention the same thing. Touchwiz needs better optimization. Better yet, Samsung should just get rid of Touchwiz.
31. maherk (Posts: 781; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
And if you only tested it out in the store, then how the hell did you know that it ll slow down once you start installing apps on it? Unless you kept installing apps on the demo unit in the store and lived there for a month or so to give us your precious review?
Btw, I ve had the S5 for 2 months now, dozens of apps installed, rooted, moded speaker, Alliance rom with lots of performance and UI tweaking, and i am yet to face any lag what so ever. But wait, I might have a faulty unit, because MR. Store Units tester claims otherwise
63. MrEelSauce (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
The only thing that bugs me about touchwiz on my S4 is the main screen. I replaced that junk with Google now launcher (xda). I had motos razr hd homescreen(also found on xda) before that. No quirks, no lag whatsoever even when I multitask.
64. MrEelSauce (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
Actually the only time it lags is when google play is mass downloading and installing all the updates.
16. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 141; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Enjoyed my S4 - wouldn't have another one though as i care too much for updates. I switch year on year between iPhone and nexus now..
19. solidsnake695 (Posts: 27; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)
still dont understand why phonearena took 5 reviews for samsung noob 5 are they worshiping it ?
23. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 365; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
Its the best selling android phone, again, and again, its all over the ads, all over the world, people buy it and i guess enjoy it, its a hot hot phone, of course they will focus more on S5 than M8.
20. raky_b (Posts: 9; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
in terms of look, i would say SG S5 is more like Audi A8, great high class car/phone, but whole gamma looks same, so, when you see it on street, you just can't know is it A8 or maybe A6, or even A4....as long as there is not something else to compare it with.
so, there is Note, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Core, S4, S3 and a lot of other galaxies that look's same at first look as S5, and it is not funny
22. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 365; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
Difference is the A8's chrome isn't cheap plastic that after few months wears off to show its just a plastic. Next time compare something that can be compared, dont compare a cheap looking, cheap feeling phone to a expensive looking, good quality materials car.
44. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)
Chipping off of the materials are only noticed in usually industrial areas workers phones, which are handled quite roughly, and some other kinds of jobs where the phone has to go through a rough routine or fall too much.
With the general use a leyman has the chrome plating won't chip away due to specialized polish and gluing.
I have yet to notice any chipping even on my nearly 2 year old Note 2, except for the bottom right, which happened when it fell of from my hand from the first floor of y building.
And metal isn't chipping proof either, it can chip out gradually, especially when the phone has to go through a rough handling.
Study and research facts before commenting.
45. raky_b (Posts: 9; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
did you read first word that i wrote???
hire is it again: "in terms of look".
and, one more thing...Audi have good quality (so doesa samsung S4, S5 in comparation with many others), but it's just a big VW PASSAT
27. jellmoo (Posts: 618; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
"Indeed, the reviewing process necessarily needs to be a standardized one."
So... When is PA going to start with this?
28. tedkord (Posts: 4263; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
"As for me, I think most people are right not to be too bothered by the color inaccuracies of the screen."
Of course not, it has one of the most accurate color reproductions available today -there are no inaccuracies. And before you fall back on the partisan, biased hack Ray S. and his drivel :
30. Awalker (Posts: 163; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
He talking about the default mode. I happen to like the saturated colors.
36. tedkord (Posts: 4263; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
He's not really. Phonearena posted a review off the Galaxy s5 screen, and said even in cinema mode the accuracy was way off.
38. Eclectech (Posts: 54; Member since: 01 May 2013)
Only making the 16GB version of the S5 available in the US makes it a non starter for anyone who actually likes to load up on apps.
48. sachouba (Posts: 6; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)
Today, there are so many ways of increasing the storage of a 16 Go phone that it's not a problem. You can even install the apps on an SD Card or transfer the apps data to SD Card.
65. MrEelSauce (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
media wise, yes. but app wise, theres a limit. Some of those apps that are moved to sd still need some data stored on the internal drive. And that overrated 16gb (it the actual size my be less than 16gb) is actually 9-11gb considering the os and its stock/bloat apps takes up 5-7gb. So theres not much moving around room in the internal drives when youre loaded on apps.
Like the game Nova 3 (total of 2.82GB), when moved to sd, theres 960MB on the SD, and 1.8GB still on the Internal.
39. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 97; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)
Sadly I dont think this is true. I was using the S5 for about a onth and a half and I switched to a HTC One, because of all the issues I have had with the S5. I had constant issues with the UI freezing and becoming completely unresponsive. All the other times my phone wouldnt even turn on when the sleep key was hit. Sometimes it would take up to four presses to get the phone on. And........try to have that phone in your pocket while your working out. Once the touch screen gets a little sweaty. The S5 will malfuction like no other and really give you something to be upset about.
41. Thullraven (Posts: 19; Member since: 14 Nov 2011)
The S5, M8, G3, and iphone are all great devices that appeal to different people. I've owned several Galaxy phones and agree about TouchWiz not playing nice with other parts of the device at times. I really don't like TouchWiz much, so I always use GO Launcher. Anyway,that only solves TouchWiz to a degree since it is still there on the device even if you aren't using it. That's one reason I like Google Play Editions. I heard that a Google Play version of the S5 is in the works. The people I knew that had Google Play versions of the S4 said theirs didn't have the lag that regular S4s had. Personally, I'm happy with my Moto G LTE running on GO Launcher. It's fast enough, unlocked, and has no bloatware.
66. MrEelSauce (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
I agree. Although I hated the constant updates from GO, I havent used it on my S4 but it was a Hit or Miss on my moto D2G and razr HD. I started using the Official Google Now Launcher. Very clean and stable and since google now makes itself one of the pages on your homescreen, it doesnt have to load like on most phones, just a smooth transition like any other page on the homescreen. You cant get it on the store since its exclusive to the nexus, you gotta get it online.
42. brasstax (Posts: 113; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
My next phone should have..
Screen size of z ultra
Multitasking of note 3
Sense UI as stock launcher
Speakers by HTC
Camera by Sony
Oh.. And it should be built by HTC
Well I guess I can dream.. Can't I?
46. jdrch (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Jul 2014)
I'm surprised most people don't realize you can really speed up TouchWiz by rooting, removing Knox, and installing Xposed + BootManager.
67. MrEelSauce (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
its more surprising people don't know they can fix most of their problems without root. Especially with the Turn Off option for stock apps and launcher management samsung provides.
68. jdrch (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Jul 2014)
Well, you kinda can't turn off Knox without rooting and removing it. Doing so sped up the phone significantly for me.